Monday, November 22, 2010
Helping Lost Pets
by Rob Goddard
If you have ever lost your pet, you know the instant panic. It can happen to anyone. Even well trained dogs can be spooked and run in fear. Be sure to have a tag with your contact information on your pet’s collar as well as have your pet micro-chipped. These are the two best actions you can take to ensure you find your pet.
But a chip can malfunction and a tag can be lost and for pets that have neither, then what?
It’s a fact that 1 in every 5 pets will be lost at some time in their life. There is currently no central place to post a lost or found pet. Frantic owners post on countless websites, send emails and spent hours putting up posters. There’s no easy way to contact people willing to help in the area where the pet was lost.
My solution to the problem is to merge technology and dedicated pet lovers. The first release of Helping Lost Pets or HeLP has been launched. HeLP is a central online database where lost or found pets can be posted. It features a map so you can visually see where the pet was lost or found. The database can be searched by breed, colour and other parameters.
The second part of the solution is the people. There are thousands of shelters, rescues, veterinarians, trainers, dog walkers, day cares, pet stores and pet lovers that already help when a pet is lost. A central database means the efforts provided by these willing volunteers will be more effective. People can set their user profile to alert them when a pet is lost in their area. Or they may choose to receive an alert about a specific breed of pet. Users can look on the map and immediately locate the nearest pet business to them also.
HeLP also allows you to enter your pets profile into the database at any time along with a picture and set the status of your pet to Safe. If your pet is ever lost, you can change the status to Lost and within minutes posters and alerts will be on their way to other HeLP members in that area.
The key to making HeLP a success is to build the membership base. It’s easy to use, it’s powerful and it’s also free. And with features like organizing a search party, and a mobile app for your phone, HeLP is available to help you if you ever loose your pet. To view pets that need to find their way home right now, please visit www.helpinglostpets.com
About Rob Goddard
Rob is a software developer and also President of Helping Homeless Pets.